Today’s Headlines

July 15, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

USGLC in the News

USGLC’S Impact 2012 Campaign (Malaria Policy Center, Katie Todd)

At the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) 2011 Washington Conference on Monday former Senate House Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and former Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge welcomed Impact 2012: Building a Better Safer World. Speaking on the importance of Smart Power and diplomacy and development, Senator Daschle remarked that the issue should be “one that unites rather than divides” because it is key to keeping “America safe and competitive.”

Embracing Straight Talk About Family Planning for the World’s Women (Huffington Post, Suzanne Ehlers)

Population Action International (PAI) has long pursued the notion that investments in family planning improve development outcomes. Our work on securityclimate change and aid effectiveness all show how it’s a cornerstone for progress. So to have a coalition like USGLC, which stresses how investments in development and diplomacy go as far as (if not further than) larger investments in defense, is an incredibly powerful platform for a group like PAI.

Who’s in the News

Nides: Foreign aid funding is a matter of national security (Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin)

The State Department and USAID are facing their toughest budget season ever as the GOP looks to international affairs accounts for major cuts. But the new Deputy Secretary of State for Management Tom Nides said that the State Department’s argument this year will be that international affairs spending is crucial for America’s national security and therefore can’t be sacrificed. “Taxpayers want to understand where our money is going. Our view of this is very simple, it is a national security budget,” Nides told The Cable in an exclusive interview in his new office on the 7thfloor of State’s Foggy Bottom headquarters.

Politics/Foreign Policy

As White House talks falter, Senate works on agreement to raise debt limit (Washington Post, Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane)

“It’s decision time,” Obama told congressional leaders after meeting at the White House for a fifth straight day. Obama gave Republicans until early Saturday to tell him whether any of three options for trimming the federal budget would win GOP support. A breakthrough in the White House talks looked unlikely, however, leaving the Senate framework as the chief option for raising the debt limit before Aug. 2, when the Treasury will be unable to pay its bills without additional borrowing authority.

U.S. to recognize Libyan rebels as legitimate government (Washington Post, William Wan)

“I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya and we will deal with it on that basis,” Clinton said, using the acronym for the rebels’ governing Transitional National Council. Other Western and Arab countries in the international contact group that is meeting in Turkey also said they fully recognize the rebels as the governing authority, with France and Italy pledging on Friday to unfreeze $250 million and $100 million in frozen Libyan assets and give the money to the rebels in coming days.

Afghans will need aid for road maintenance – German general (Reuters, David Alexander)

German Army Major General Richard Rossmanith, deputy chief of staff for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said the paving of the Ring Road that stretches more than 1,500 miles (2,400 km) and links Afghanistan’s major population centers is nearly complete. “The capacities and capabilities need to be established, and of course it’s a question of resources,” Rossmanith told reporters at the Pentagon in a videoconference from Kabul…”I think that the revenue of the Afghan state may not be enough for the foreseeable future to actually deal with that,” he added. “And therefore a long-term commitment of the international community will be required to help and support the Afghans (with) this effort.”

U.S. drawdown begins in Afghanistan (Reuters)

U.S. Lt. Col. Wayne Perry, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said about 650 troops who had completed their rotation in Afghanistan left on Wednesday as scheduled, and would not be replaced.”As part of the drawdown the first U.S. troops have left Afghanistan,” he said. Afghan security forces are to take over security responsibility from foreign forces in seven areas of the country this summer. Afghan forces will then take the lead in securing the entire country by the end of 2014.